ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Orange County Public Schools announced Wednesday that face masks will be optional for all school district employees starting the next day.
The district previously projected masks required for employees, visitors and volunteers would be made optional for everyone after Dec. 3.
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Orange County school representative Michael Ollendorff said as of now volunteers and visitors at Orange County schools are still required to wear masks.
The drop in COVID-19 cases across Orange County, as well as Mayor Jerry Demings ending the local state of emergency, factored into the earlier decision to make masks optional in December, according to Superintendent Dr. Barbara Jenkins.
The mask mandate for students across the county’s public schools expired on Oct. 30, around two weeks after the state Board of Education sent a letter to the county’s school board giving the district 48 hours to comply with a mask mandate ban before facing financial consequences.
A group of parents, teachers and local politicians recently echoed their demands to keep the mask mandate in place until the end of the year.